Saturday, June 11, 2011

"We're playing Russian roulette"

"This was my sixth budget year and in each of those six years we've made cuts," Town Council Chairman Scott Mason said. "The budget that we just approved (Thursday) night stinks, just like the others before it. It's like we're crawling down a well and it's going to be very difficult for us to climb back out." 
The fiscal 2012 budget represents a 1.3 percent increase over this year's $88.1 million budget. It cuts about 31 positions, including two firefighters, two police officers, 5.5 library jobs and four Public Works jobs. 
Mason worried the cuts will make it harder to fix roads, could lead to a reactive police force and may increase firefighters' reaction time and reliance on mutual aid. 
"There's only so much we can do with less people," Town Councilor Tina Powderly said, noting the budget has remained relatively flat since fiscal 2009 despite rising energy, salt and insurance costs. "I think the budget was the best we could do but I don't sleep well at night. ... I'm very concerned about this town."

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